Furloughed artist, explores disengagment from ‘all that’ and engagement in ‘all this’.
I don’t know if this was a good use of time/paint.
The plan is to send hand-painted postcards to everyone I can’t see but would have done, or would have intended to, if it wasn’t for coronavirus.
I’ve made sure to use my fingers to leave a physical trace of myself. I chose Start Point because
a) I can see it from here and
b) it’s on of my favourite places.
One weird side effect of this is that I can’t help imagining them passing from hand-to-hand and becoming dangerous; like vehicles for the virus which I am sending with love, to loved ones.
I will write WARNINGs on them.
Painting with this conveyor-belt-style method is new/weird for me.
I know it’s a traditional means of making commercial art.
I believe I have great-uncles from the Torbay region who used to paint landscapes like this for a portion of their income. They were, of course, of much higher quality than these postcards. They sold them in Boots.
I got told to “eat the world”. I’d planned to go to Glasgow, or was it Mexico? or praps I’ll just stay home.
Drowning in lungs, like little pockets of pacific.
City folks come down here wearing country clothes. I’ve got red earth in my teeth holes. It scares me half to death that it’s all here, going on, all at once; Paignton Pier and rain out to sea and people, somewhere, sitting in the sun.
Cold summer breeze through net curtains, knock the horse ornaments off the window sill and I’m well aware I’ve got a skull behind my smile.
My home falls to metal and dust; bricks and cement over-rated.
For no reason they took my bike to the skip while I was out – my flying machine – the world expands, streets open into fields peppered with dog shit and stones that look like bone.
Old idols disappoint, and my long hair, slick with blood, crunches under the scissor blades.
All my drawings are for sale.
I haven’t been anywhere much. I stayed on this cold unloving island with glitter on my finger nails and mud under them. Clouds race like liquid landscapes.
Wrestling with exhaustion. Too tired to wake.
Waiting in car parks, witness to petty crime. Smoking dope and drinking vodka in the potato fields. I saw them all, yellow floating fat on the whites of their eyes.
UHT milk and memories of all the old times gone by, drinking in the pubs and walking in the woods and laughing.
Campsites are the wilderness of this wild far-flung fucking landscape, with mowed edges and recycling bins.
The smell of cow shit can still bring it all back.
They took the farm, where’s there to go?
At least we now get some peace.
Image: Vulpes vulpes. iPhone6 + binoculars
The Project: I intend to access a beach that has no official access. Questing for Forest Cove.
As I emerged from the bluebell wood a cock pheasant flew loudly out from cover. I was hesitant incase it was another human that had flushed it out, but when I looked back a small fox was watching me.
Later that evening I commented on this to a friend but she seemed to find it unremarkable. She frequently has close encounters with foxes in her Lambeth borough. Of course this highlights context; country foxes are usually incredibly timid. This one sat boldly watching me (above). Context-collapse is common in our modern lives, it is one of the things bioregionalism has the capacity to curb. Bioregionalism is context. The biorgionalism of Lambeth made the friend’s response relevant and mine likewise.
The ‘Way’ I thought I had identified from google satellite maps turned out to be an old eroded wall. The newly exposed slate shines brilliantly in the sun and this was of course what I was seeing on the satellite map. Old boundary lines or stock proofing, for land now gone to sea.
Images: Slate wall and Satellite Map I had mistaken for a ‘way’.
As I scrambled through scrub I realised if I had made this trip even another week or two later, it may well have been impassible for me, thick bramble and bracken is flushing up through the now turning bluebells.
The presence of this carpet of bluebells on the exposed cliff, as well as growing stunted throughout the grazing pastures of nearby fields, indicates a now absent woodland, hence the cove’s name Forest Cove.
I was following deer tracks, twice i discovered impressions in the easily bruised bluebell plants. They resemble large nests or beds, big enough for a dog. After I frightened a doe it was clear to me that these impressions were left by a recently hiding fawn. In the first 2 weeks of a fawn’s life they stay under cover, unmoving until their mother returns from grazing, as they are not yet quick enough to flee from perceived threats.
Image: Fawn hideout.
I skirted away from deep clefts that appeared and the cliff edge, cautious of undercut erosion I might unwittingly be walking on. Eventually my way was made impassable by thick vegetation and I was forced to turn back (below).
Conclusion: on the walk I realised there is another, safer, accessible way: low tide.
See Blog Questing for Forest Cove for process.
Image: End point. Blocked. 50°18’41.6″N 3°37’10.7″W